'I Wasn't Expecting To Make A 1990 Salary In 2018,' Muskogee Teacher Says
MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - Teachers across the state protested Monday, saying they won't work a minute outside of their contract until state legislators fix the education budget and give them a pay raise.
Teachers at Muskogee High School said they hope to catch legislator's attention so they won't have to walk out on April 2.
Mike Walcutt has taught at Muskogee for 21 years and now he's taking a stand with other teachers, refusing to work outside of his contracted hours.
"One of the things that we hear a lot is, teachers just work 8-3. We're going to show people that we don't," he said.
Walcutt said he wants to continue teaching in the state he loves but he's afraid he can't afford to do it anymore.
"I feel called to be in Oklahoma. We're not in it for the money but I wasn't expecting to make a 1990 salary in 2018," he said.
History teacher Diane Walker says teaching to contract sets her back big time, but it's something she feels like she has to do for the future of her students and the state as a whole.
"I'm looking toward the third-grader, and the second-grader, and the kindergartener and the 4-year-old. What education are they going to have in 10 years when they get to me," she said. "They need quality educators and we do not have that. We are losing them. They are leaving the state in droves."
Walker said the big message to get across is that teachers aren't going to let up until they see results.
Muskogee teachers will picket at the civic center at 4:30 Tuesday afternoon and then march together to the school board meeting.